Rigoberto González + Douglas Kearney + Chris Kraus

Unfolding Language: Rigoberto González + Douglas Kearney + Chris Kraus

Thursday, Mar 22, 2018
7:30 pm
The Broad, Oculus Hall
Tickets $15 / $30


Contemporary authors present texts from Jasper Johns’ literary muses and read from their own work.

Rigoberto González reads from and responds to poet Hart Crane

  • “Hart Crane is every gay poet's literary ancestorhis queerness is in his ability to express desire, beauty, and love through a rigorous, formalist language. His canvas was melancholia, and from his work we learned to appreciate the fleeting moments of light during the dark times—an all-too familiar state of being for many of us.”

Douglas Kearney reads from and responds to writer Samuel Beckett

  • “His bleakness somehow teems. In the short plays I've encountered, his syntax accumulates, seems a heap of hewn bramble in which sudden utterances are thorns playing berries. This program gives me impetus to rummage deeper and maybe get cut a bit sweet.”

Chris Kraus reads from and responds to writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline

  • “Céline, an equal-opportunity misanthrope, captured the ontological ruptures of the early 20th century in a way few others did.  Bitterly funny, his work is shot through with the disillusion that follows hope and desire.  He's a favorite of many of my favorite writers, including Gary Indiana, John Godfrey, and William S. Burroughs.”

Tickets are $15 for the poetry reading only. Upcharge includes timed entry tickets to Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth, subject to availability. 



Rigoberto González is the author of What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth: A Memoir of Brotherhood (March 2018) and four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His twelve books of prose include two bilingual children’s books, the three YA novels in the Mariposa Club series and four books of nonfiction, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and writes a monthly column for NBC-Latino online. Currently, he is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey and the inaugural Stan Rubin Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Rainier Writing Workshop. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the Los Angeles Times.

Douglas Kearney has published six books, most recently, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Roethke Poetry Prize, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). BOMB says: “[Buck Studies] remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in the Santa Clarita Valley and teaches at CalArts. 

Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, two books of cultural criticism and most recently, After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography. She is a co-editor of the independent press Semiotexte, alongside Hedi El Kholti and Sylvere Lotringer. She writes for various publications, and lives in northern Minnesota when she’s not in LA.


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About Unfolding Language Literary Series

The Broad and The Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ ALOUD series explores the centrality of authors and poets to Johns’ creative practice by presenting two evenings of readings by contemporary authors, who will present verses from Johns’ literary muses, including Samuel Beckett, Ted Berrigan, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Hart Crane, Frank O’Hara and Herman Melville, as well as read from their own work. 


  • Thursday, Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Apr. 12, 7:30 p.m.

Co-presented by

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